Showing posts from April 24, 2015

Petraeus gets 2 years probation, $100K fine, can travel to speak overseas, lives happily ever after

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[Not quite the treatment meted out to whistle-blowers in the US of A. "Oaths do matter," Mr. Petraeus said in October 2012 when a C.I.A. officer accepted a plea agreement for disclosing sensitive information, "and there are indeed consequences for those who believe they are above the laws that protect our fellow officers and enable American intelligence agencies to operate with the requisite degree of secrecy." *RON*]

By Xeni Jardin at 1:39 pm Thu, Apr 23, 2015

David Petraeus, a top West Point grad who led U.S. military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan before becoming the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, pled guilty Thursday to sharing classified information with his biographer/lover.

Fellow leaker Chelsea Manning, on the other hand, remains in prison. And earlier this week, federal prosecutors called for accused leaker and former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling to serve up to 24 years in prison.

From the Charlotte Observer…

Harper government threat to criminalize criticism of Israel generates strong opposition

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["It must be stressed that it is not anti-Semitic to criticize the state of Israel. Those who equate such criticism with a hatred of Jewish people are simply attempting to silence Israel's critics. In the face of these actions on the part of the Canadian government, we must defend the right of people in a democracy to criticize any government's behaviour and to participate in boycotts designed to alter that behaviour if they choose to do so." *RON*]
By Sid Shniad,, 22 April 2015

In recent years, Israel and its allies have become increasingly concerned about the growing international movement to expose and sanction Israel’s behaviour. Their chosen response appears to be one designed to intimidate and suppress this opposition through the threat or actual use of legal punishments. Nowhere has Israel's call for help in this outrageous endeavor been more enthusiastically embraced than in the government of Stephen Harper,…

New book asks: Can civilization survive unprecedented climate crisis?

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[Sounds like a worthwhile read. You can pick up a copy here. I'm going to request that my library purchase one. See also Harper: Canada Won't Match U.S. On Greenhouse Gas Targets. *RON*]

by Mark Taliano, Common Sense Canadian, 23 April 2015

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that human-caused climate change is already responsible for 150,000 deaths annually. If we continue our current trajectories of “business as usual” as our response to climate change, the WHO expects that between 2030 and 2050 climate change will cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year.

According to the WHO, the yearly death rate will include, “38 000 due to heat exposure in elderly people, 48 000 due to diarrhoea, 60 000 due to malaria, and 95 000 due to childhood under nutrition.”

Once “tipping points” occur, non-linear changes will emerge, and the death toll will be much higher.

As author David Ray Griffin demonstrates in his book, Unprece…

Politicians Who Discuss Healthcare Without Poverty Are Missing the Point

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[This is especially true when it comes to the hardest-hit groups, such as the First Nations, where health is primarily a poverty issue. This also implies that the solutions are primarily political so that, for example, the best thing that could be done to improve the health of the Aboriginal community would be to settle land claims and establish sovereignty. *RON*]

Carolyn Shimmin, / Huffington Post, 23 April 2015

With a federal election on the horizon, certain high level policy topics are bound to make the headlines beyond the personalities of the political leaders: the economy, energy prices, jobs prospects even climate change. But what seems surprisingly absent from the political hustings so far has been a fulsome discussion of the health of everyday Canadians, and how we can improve it.

Health for many pundits is all about healthcare. And while healthcare deserves its place in the political spotlight, what should be a central…

U.S. Maps Pinpoint Earthquakes Linked to Quest for Oil and Gas

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[This is the broadest acknowledgement to date from the US government that fracking causes earthquakes; big ones, one a wide-spread basis. "Oklahoma used to experience one or two earthquakes per year of magnitude 3 or greater, and now they’re experiencing one or two a day. Oklahoma now has more earthquakes of that magnitude than California." Note that fracking companies tend to deflect the issue by arguing that drilling activity tends not to cause earthquakes, or only small ones, while this is about waste water injection. *RON*]

By Richard Perez-Pena, New York Times, 23 April 2015

The United States Geological Survey on Thursday released its first comprehensive assessment of the link between thousands of earthquakes and oil and gas operations, identifying and mapping 17 regions where quakes have occurred.

The report was the agency’s broadest statement yet on a danger that has grown along with the nation’s energy production.

By far the ha…

Nobel prize-winner Stiglitz: Three steps to solve income inequality

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[Joe Oliver's budget is all about How not to fight income inequality. Check out Joe Stiglitz' new book for ideas on how to solve it. *RON*]
By Joanna Campione, Yahoo! Finance, 23 April 2015

It's the hollowing out of the U.S. economy. The haves are getting more, the have nots are getting less. And the middle class is disappearing.

Between 2000 and 2013, every single state in the United States saw its share of middle-class families shrink, according to analysis from the Pew Charitable Trusts. In some states like Wisconsin and Ohio, that number fell by more than 5 percentage points; middle-income families now make up less than half of those states' populations.

It’s not a new narrative but the modern story of inequality goes much deeper than stagnant wage growth. It's inequality of opportunity as well. It's something Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has studied and written about a great deal. H…

Most Canadians Support Carbon Pricing, See Climate as Election Issue: New Poll

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[If this was a pure democracy, that would be all she wrote, but in a corporatocracy this will be ignored. *RON*]

By Carol Linnitt, DeSmog Blog Canada, 22 April 2015

A new poll released today by Angus Reid finds the majority of Canadians support carbon pricing programs and more than half the population would like to see a national climate policy instituted at the federal level.

Although Canadians say they’re ready for climate action, there’s a lot less certainty surrounding climate leadership at the federal level, according to poll results.

There also appears to be some question about the actual impact of a carbon price but, despite the uncertainty, 75 per cent of Canadians support the idea of a national cap and trade program, and 56 per cent support the idea of a national carbon tax.

Currently Canada has a smattering of province-led carbon price initiatives — B.C.’s celebrated carbon tax being perhaps the most notable — although no national program …